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Karen Parko, MD

Title(s)Professor, Neurology
SchoolSchool of Medicine
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    Other Positions
    Title(s)UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    University of California , San Francisco1995Neurology Residency
    Washington Hospital Center, Washington DC1992Internal Medicine Internship
    Uniformed Services University, Washington DCMD1991
    New York University, New YorkBA1986
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    American Epilepsy Society2014National Service Award
    Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California2011Lifetime Commitment to Progress Award
    UCSF, Neurology Department2007Robert B. Layzer Award for Resident Teaching (The Golden Toe Award)
    United States Public Health Service2007USPHS Commissioned Officers Association Clinical Investigator Award
    United States Public Health Service2001Public Health Service Clinical Physician of the Year
    US Medicine2003Finalist, The Frank Brown Berry Prize in Federal Medicine
    Navajo Nation Indian Health Service2000Navajo Area Director's Award for Outstanding Health Care Provider

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. Karen L. Parko is a Professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the National Director of the Veterans Affairs Epilepsy Centers of Excellence. She is a retired Commissioned Officer from the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). Dr. Parko’s career focus has been on improving epilepsy care in disadvantaged populations. She is nationally recognized for her leadership in health care and health policy.

    Dr. Parko received a B.A. degree in Psychobiology from New York University and an M.D. degree from the F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda, MD. Following an internship in Internal Medicine at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, she completed a residency in Neurology at UCSF.

    After residency she worked in the Indian Health Service (IHS) as a solo neurologist for ten years on the Navajo reservation, where she established the reservation’s first neurology clinic, providing adult and pediatric neurology services and neurodiagnostic testing to this population of nearly 300,000.

    In 2010 she became the National Director of the VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence, whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of Veterans with epilepsy through the integration of clinical care, outreach, research, and education.

    Dr. Parko has been involved in disaster and humanitarian relief medicine, including the Anthrax prophylaxis of postal workers following 9/11 in 2001, as a physician team leader for the 2002 Winter Olympics, as the chief clinical operations officer for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the 2007 California wildfires response. In 2000 she served as a medical officer aboard NOAA vessel McArthur during its Stenella Mission in the Eastern Pacific.

    Dr. Parko is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, a member of the American Epilepsy Society and the International League against Epilepsy. She serves on the National and Northern California professional advisory boards of the Epilepsy Foundation of America.

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    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help.
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    1. Salinsky M, Rutecki P, Parko K, Goy E, Storzbach D, Markwardt S, Binder L, Joos S. Health-related quality of life in Veterans with epileptic and psychogenic nonepileptic seizures. Epilepsy Behav. 2019 May; 94:72-77. PMID: 30893618.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Salinsky M, Rutecki P, Parko K, Goy E, Storzbach D, O'Neil M, Binder L, Joos S. Psychiatric comorbidity and traumatic brain injury attribution in patients with psychogenic nonepileptic or epileptic seizures: A multicenter study of US veterans. Epilepsia. 2018 10; 59(10):1945-1953. PMID: 30144027.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Thurman DJ, Begley CE, Carpio A, Helmers S, Hesdorffer DC, Mu J, Touré K, Parko KL, Newton CR. The primary prevention of epilepsy: A report of the Prevention Task Force of the International League Against Epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2018 05; 59(5):905-914. PMID: 29637551.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Karen L. Parko. Joel M.ReiterDonnaAndrewsCharlotteReiterW. CurtLafranceJr.Taking control of your seizures: workbookDavidBarlowTreatments that work series2015Oxford University Press[Soft Cover 8.5 x 11, available as E-book, 336 pages ISBN: 9780199335015 Cost $49.95]. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2016 Aug 1; 61:277-278.
      View in: Publisher Site
    5. Karen L. Parko. Treating nonepileptic seizures: Therapist guide W. CurtLaFranceJr.Jeffrey PeterWinczeDavidBarlowTreatments that work series2015Oxford University Press[Soft Cover, 7×10inches, available as E-book, 192 pages, ISBN: 9780199307173, Cost $55.00]. Epilepsy & Behavior. 2016 Aug 1; 61:275-276.
      View in: Publisher Site
    6. Salinsky M, Parko K, Rutecki P, Boudreau E, Storzbach D. Attributing seizures to TBI: Validation of a brief patient questionnaire. Epilepsy Behav. 2016 Apr; 57(Pt A):141-144. PMID: 26953843.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Hixson JD, Barnes D, Parko K, Durgin T, Van Bebber S, Graham A, Wicks P. Patients optimizing epilepsy management via an online community: the POEM Study. Neurology. 2015 Jul 14; 85(2):129-36. PMID: 26085605.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Rohde NN, Baca CB, Van Cott AC, Parko KL, Amuan ME, Pugh MJ. Antiepileptic drug prescribing patterns in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav. 2015 May; 46:133-9. PMID: 25911209.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Rao VR, Parko KL. Clinical approach to posttraumatic epilepsy. Semin Neurol. 2015 Feb; 35(1):57-63. PMID: 25714868.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Rao VR, Lim LE, Fong D, Garga NI, Parko KL. Multicentric Castleman's disease with voltage-gated potassium channel antibody-positive limbic encephalitis: a case report. BMC Neurol. 2015 Feb 04; 15:4. PMID: 25648431.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Pugh MJ, Parko K. Research using archival health care data: Let the buyer beware. Epilepsia. 2015 Feb; 56(2):321-2. PMID: 25708477.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Larry E. Davis, Nina I. Garga, Molly K. King, Stephanie Chen, Karen L. Parko. Teleneurology in the US Veteran Health Administration. Teleneurology in Practice. 2015 Jan 1; 1-15.
      View in: Publisher Site
    13. Burneo JG, Sirven JI, Kiesel LW, Vecht CJ, Jehi L, Chung SS, Uhm J, Politsky JM, Chang EF, Husain AM, Tatum WO, Meador KJ, Noe K, Hesdorffer DC, Herman ST, Wiebe S, Engel J, Schrader S, Parko KL, Dichter MA, Kwan P, Kossoff E, Sperling MR. Managing common complex symptomatic epilepsies: tumors and trauma: american epilepsy society - 2012 annual course summary. Epilepsy Curr. 2013 Sep; 13(5):232-5. PMID: 24348117.
      View in: PubMed
    14. John Betjemann, Karen Parko. Seizures After TBI. Traumatic Brain Injury. 2012 Jan 1; 167-178.
      View in: Publisher Site
    15. Thurman DJ, Beghi E, Begley CE, Berg AT, Buchhalter JR, Ding D, Hesdorffer DC, Hauser WA, Kazis L, Kobau R, Kroner B, Labiner D, Liow K, Logroscino G, Medina MT, Newton CR, Parko K, Paschal A, Preux PM, Sander JW, Selassie A, Theodore W, Tomson T, Wiebe S. Standards for epidemiologic studies and surveillance of epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2011 Sep; 52 Suppl 7:2-26. PMID: 21899536.
      View in: PubMed
    16. Parko KL, Abrams GM, Campbell JS, Glass GA. Epilepsy, sleep disturbances, and psychiatric consequences. Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2010 Dec; 16(6 Traumatic Brain Injury):110-27. PMID: 22810716.
      View in: PubMed
    17. Burneo JG, Jette N, Theodore W, Begley C, Parko K, Thurman DJ, Wiebe S. Disparities in epilepsy: report of a systematic review by the North American Commission of the International League Against Epilepsy. Epilepsia. 2009 Oct; 50(10):2285-95. PMID: 19732134.
      View in: PubMed
    18. Parko K, Thurman DJ. Prevalence of epilepsy and seizures in the Navajo Nation 1998-2002. Epilepsia. 2009 Oct; 50(10):2180-5. PMID: 19490040.
      View in: PubMed
    19. Andersson PB, Yuen E, Parko K, So YT. Electrodiagnostic features of hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies. Neurology. 2000 Jan 11; 54(1):40-4. PMID: 10636123.
      View in: PubMed
    20. Hashimoto H, Clyde VJ, Parko KL. Botulism from peyote. N Engl J Med. 1998 Jul 16; 339(3):203-4. PMID: 9669923.
      View in: PubMed
    21. Alldredge BK, Heard SE, Parko K. Is the prescription really for selegiline? Am J Hosp Pharm. 1994 Apr 01; 51(7):930, 932. PMID: 8017443.
      View in: PubMed
    22. Chafetz MD, Parko K, Diaz S, Leibowitz SF. Relationships between medial hypothalamic alpha 2-receptor binding, norepinephrine, and circulating glucose. Brain Res. 1986 Oct 08; 384(2):404-8. PMID: 3022870.
      View in: PubMed